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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Idolize like a champion: from Hartman fandom to Swifties

I believe in Marcus Freeman,

The Father Almighty,

Handsomest coach and man

In all press conferences and interviews.

I believe in one lord Sam Hartman,

The only begotten QB1,

Recruited by the Father before the season,

Wake Forest to Notre Dame, South to the Midwest:

QB1 to QB1,

Begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

Through him, all dreams were fulfilled.

For us students and our sanity

He came up from North Carolina,

And by the blessing of fortune was born handsome,

And with a beard.

For our sake, he was subjected to The Ohio State University,

He suffered incompletions and lost,

And rose again against USC

In accordance with the spread.

He ascended into Heisman discussions

And is seated at the right hand of Marcus Freeman.

He will come again in the playoffs

To judge the strong and the weak

And his college career will have no end.

I believe in Taylor Swift, the queen, the giver of life,

Who is tangentially related to Notre Dame football,

Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

Who has spoken through her Eras.

I believe in working, playing, sleeping and crushing hard.

I confess on Yik Yak for the forgiveness of my Sunday scaries, and I look forward to the resurrection of my GPA and my career in Corporate America to come. Amen


I graciously bestow to you, my audience, the Notre Dame Creed. On the part of students, it is a comprehensive profession of our strongest convictions and biggest idols — essentially everything that occupies our headspace, motivates us to lead virtuous lives and enables us to be Forces for Good. I encourage you to internalize the words and even commit them to memory. If you are unwilling, I am afraid that you will be exiled to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth: Boston College. But to avoid all the headache that comes with transferring, I will unsolicitedly evangelize you because you need to be saved. You’re welcome.

I introduce you to the father of our Trinity: Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Marcus Freeman. I invite you to close your eyes and allow me to illustrate his glory. 6 foot 1 inches. Chiseled jawline. Crisp hairline. Charming smile. Athletic build. Skin-tight size “shmedium” Under Armour quarter zip. Our devotion to Marcus Freeman has nothing to do with performance or success as a coach; he is inviolable in that respect. We adore him for his looks, but it is also ingrained in our understanding that objectification of people is unacceptable, harmful behavior in other scenarios, of course. 

As for the prophesied star quarterback of the Notre Dame football team, Sam Hartman enters into an illustrious lineage of quarterbacks, including Tyler Buchner, Drew Pyne and Joe Montana. We are completely unconcerned with interceptions or his general performance, for that matter. We “Hartmanites” venerate the most important characteristic of a human being: the facial hair. Many of us do not even know the rules of football, but we congregate weekly on our holy day in the nosebleeds of our secular basilica in hopes of catching a fleeting glimpse of our lord’s beard, obfuscated by the veil of a golden helmet. The following Sunday is a day dedicated to work to compensate for the time spent in worship of our god.

The third idol in the Trinity is Taylor Swift. Some of our more learned academics have devoted years to the advancement of Taylorism, that is, the comprehensive study of Taylor Swift’s musical performances, portfolio of relationships and music videos. Analysis of her musical performances often requires regular site visits at an exorbitant cost. One is to don the garments in imitation or representation of one of Swift’s Eras, as it were. Then, one is to exclaim and gesticulate and even weep in a crazed thrall for the duration of her performance. To summarize your research, simply post a picture of yourself to social media with a vague existential caption that is an extrapolation of some lyric. As for the portfolio of relationships, junior analysts model and project the performance of Taylor’s boyfriends by a regression model of their popularity as affected by the “Swift” error term. As for her music videos, academics scour every second of the video in search of minute references to the Taylor mythos. They subsequently apply their God-given intellects to formulate detailed analyses of something that has zero practical benefits to their lives. 

The following two are not idols of the Trinity but are still important idols to our cult. For many, Notre Dame, the school, is often an object of idolatry. We revel in our achievement of meriting acceptance into the University, but we endeavor not to make the most of our time here, opting for leisure or cheap pleasures. We regard Notre Dame with deified infallibility, ignoring any relevant flaw, institutional or trivial. Notre Dame is a magical wonderland to so many because they have never sought to be frustrated by what it offers: to enter into a challenging situation where failure or discomfort are likely or necessary. 

Secondly, the last idol in our pantheon is Corporate America. Corporations extract the labor of unwitting college students, who see work as a mere means to an end. We view work as a necessary evil that needs to be mitigated with the onerous task of “living,” hence work-life balance. We find no pleasure in work that is intellectually fulfilling as the pleasure that dominates our lives is that of the body, the eyes or status. 

In light of all these idols, I encourage you to take an introspective examination of your own practice of idolatry. Why do you hold that which is fleeting and unfulfilling in the same regard as that which is eternal and fulfilling? How much better could your life be if you applied your time and talents to something meaningful? How can you begin purging beliefs of rank selfishness from your life? 

Jonah Tran is a sophomore at Notre Dame double majoring in finance and classics with a minor in Constitutional studies. He prides himself on sarcasm and his home — the free state of Florida. You can contact Jonah by email at

Jonah Tran

Jonah Tran is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying finance, classics and constitutional studies. He prides himself on sarcasm and his home — the free state of Florida. You can contact Jonah at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.